It was not until the 1960s that a modern school system began to be built in Bhutan; In the past, teaching was mainly handled by Buddhist monasteries. Investments have also been made in adult education, which has contributed to declining illiteracy. At the beginning of the 1990s, only 20 percent of the inhabitants could read and write, while the proportion now exceeds 66 percent.
The children start a first school preparatory year at the age of six and then go to a first six-year stage. There is no formal compulsory schooling but the large majority of children go to the first stage.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Bhutan, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
Thereafter, another six years follow divided into three levels. About three out of four children also go to the higher stages. A fairly large proportion of children, especially those who attend the upper classes, have to stay in order to attend school.
The training is largely free of charge. Teaching is in English from the start of school, but the national language dzongkha is a compulsory subject for everyone.
Environmental knowledge is an important school subject. Bhutan holds a special position among poor developing countries in its environmental awareness (see Natural Resources, Energy and Environment).
There are about ten colleges with, among other things, teacher and physician education as well as courses in business administration, tourism and technology. The universities sort under the Bhutan Royal University, which was founded in 2003. For most university programs, students are referred to study abroad.
- Searchforpublicschools: Offers schooling information of Bhutan in each level – compulsory, technical and higher education programs.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
79.9 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
57.0 percent (2012)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
24.0 percent (2017)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
24.0 percent (2017)